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Boston Cannabis Board changes mind, says two marijuana shops right near each other in Hyde Park isn't such a bad idea after all

The Boston Cannabis Board this week reversed its earlier denial of plans by an out-of-state chain to turn a former pasta factory on Hyde Park Avenue into a marijuana shop just a block up the street from another shop that would be run by three local entrepreneurs.

However, the board made its approval conditional on the Zoning Board of Appeal deciding the city's supposed restriction on marijuana stores within a half mile of each other is worth overriding to let Suns Mass Inc. of Tempe, AZ, turn the former Serino's building, across from the America's Food Basket strip mall, into both a recreational and medicinal shop as well as a facility for churning out marijuana products.

In September, the cannabis board approved plans by Sean Berte and Jullian Domenici of Roslindale and Armani White of Roxbury to open their proposed Evergreen Farms a block away at 883 Hyde Park Ave., should they be able to win approval from state regulators and the Zoning Board of Appeal - and rejected the Suns Mass proposal.

Unlike Suns Mass., Evergreen is supposed to get priority for a license because two of its three principals are members of groups the state has identified as being historically hit harder by past marijuana laws: Berte and White both have marijuana convictions while White is black.

The zoning board voted Tuesday to approve Evergreen Farms.

At a hearing the next day, the cannabis board voted unanimously to support Suns Mass, because board members said, the company came back with a strong request for reconsideration in which it guaranteed it would be a minimum wage of $18.50 an hour and would hire a minority contractor to refit the the building for its new use.

Board Chairwoman Kathleen Joyce said she was impressed by the community room the company says it would include in the building, that the Suns Mass proposal is "very different" from the Evergreen Farms one and that she does not think the Suns Mass proposal would harm the neighborthood.

Board member Alejandra St. Guillen said the new Suns Mass proposal really highlights what a "very well financed and experienced" company can offer the city.

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Comments

while White is black.

Good reason.

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I can provide one, but let me know if you'd really care or if you're just here to make cracks about the guy's name.

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And?

they had to grease greasy Rob Consalvo to get his nod?

You know Rob isn’t even technically in office yet right? But A for effort.

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Right?

I guess rules are only rules until you change them.

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Dumb Rule .5 mile barrier they set up because they knew it would require variances. The variances make it more likely to become susceptible to bribery, cronyism extortion, and local politics.

We've got 2 pot shops operating in the city and already we have 2 variances to said rule. Intentional.

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at Marty's pig trough.

To High Park

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Keep them small and keep them local! When billionaires are involved you need to understand they do not care about you or the product.

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If you want to get to the bottom of things, always follow the money.

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In this case follow the politician. Not surprisd at all.

At the ZBA.

Is the cannabis board a volunteer position or a paid position? If paid, does anyone know the approximate earnings (and yes I did try Google). I only ask because many members look like a who’s who of Boston. Seems the same people often have the power.

“Board member Alejandra St. Guillen said the new Suns Mass proposal really highlights what a "very well financed and experienced" company can offer the city.“

Pun intended?

Or have you ever been experienced?

Both in a graphic on the front page of the Metro section and in the accompanying article, the Globe notes that the City of Boston must approve 56 or more marijuana stores for the city per state law. Am I the only person who thinks that is off. This is the same state that limits how many establishments can sell alcoholic beverages is forcing Boston to have at least 56 pot shops. I mean, the voters said that sales of recreational marijuana is what they want, but shouldn't the market determine how many stores there are?

Not defending necessarily, but just explaining: Under state law, unless a municipality has banned recreational marijuana stores (or previously voted to limit them below this number), it must eventually site a number of such stores equivalent to 20% of the number of liquor stores there. So a town with five liquor stores would only be obligated to site one marijuana store and so on. This doesn't mean the town has to accept the first cannabis company to come along -- it can still have licensing standards and zoning rules etc -- but it cannot summarily reject pot applicants for no reason UNTIL it hits that minimum 20%-of-the-number-of-liquor-stores threshold. (Unless, again, it has a ban in place.)

It's because there's going to be hundreds and hundreds of applicants over the years. hundreds. It will be impossible to legally reject all of them to get us down to 56. They connected pot shops to the population and then calculated the Boston by-laws and determined there's room for 56 of them. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Boston will eventually see more than 56 pot shops there's that much money on the table.